Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall Reading Challenge 2014: A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen #FRC2014

This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

The book for our Finding Mr. Right 101 class is A Blind Spot by Justina Chen.

About the book:

Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it's time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.

Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don't just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana's interest.

Right as she's about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously... Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen.

This story centers around Shana, who is a junior in high school.  She has given up boys for the time being after a break-up that strained her relationship with one of her brothers.  She does meet a boy, Quattro, by accident, but vows to just be friends with him.  (He just so happens to be on a break from girls!)  In the meantime, her father is given a devastating diagnosis.  Her dad has about six months left until he will be completely blind.  Her parents have put off some important adventures due to life getting in the way, but her parents decide to take a major trip with each of their kids before Shana's father loses his sight.  The book tells the story of Shana's trip with her parents to Machu Picchu.  

The trip is not going the way that anyone in her family expected.  Shana's parents seem to have a strained relationship for the first time.  Shana's mom is being protective of her husband, who does not want to be handled with kid gloves.  He has to deal with the anger he has over his diagnosis.  Shana is also blindsided by the fact that she runs into Quattro on the trip.  He is there with his father with another tour group, but they run into each other quite a bit.  Quattro is dealing with a different loss himself.  Something very tragic happens on the trip and it brings some people together and rips other people apart.  Shana learns to use her love of photography for two very important projects that will help bring some of the people that she cares about together.

Even though the main character of this book is a teenager, I think this book could be enjoyed by anyone.  There are so many great lessons to learn from this book.  Probably lesson that spoke to me the most was to cherish everyday.  In the case of Shana's father, his lesson was cherishing every experience that he had left to see with his own eyes.  Shana had to learn to appreciate her father in a whole new way and the relationship her parents have.  I'm not ashamed to admit my eyes got a little misty near the end when Shana showed them a video she made for her father's birthday.  She also learns to appreciate the sacrifices her father has made not just for her, but his own brothers and sisters.  Some people had a hard time accepting that.  Shana also learns many things about herself.  She learns some of the reasons her relationship ended so horribly wrong with her last boyfriend.  Everyone that went on the trip to Machu Picchu had a some kind of self discovery.  Quattro learns that everything happens for a reason and sometimes you have to be patient.  This really was a beautiful story and did not feel like a young adult novel at all. Like I mentioned before, anyone can relate to this book and learn something from it!

Buy the book:

·        Amazon Kindle:

·        Amazon Hardcover:

About the author:

Justina Chen is the acclaimed author of young adult novels including A Blind Spot for Boys, Return to Me, North of Beautiful, and Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies), which won the Asian Pacific American Award for Youth Literature. She is a co-founder of readergirlz, the online book community for teens, and lives in the Seattle area with her two children. 

Connect with the author:

·        Facebook:
·        Twitter:
·        Website:

If you want to find out more about the Fall Reading Challenge and the rest of our course schedule, click our student ID above!

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